Tuesday, December 23

I am feeling especially blessed as I sit here. Lately it seems that things have been going wrong but instead of me putting all of my emotional energy into worrying about them I have given them to God and went on with the things I can do.
My van got a puncture that couldn't be fixed in a tire and neighbor came over and removed it for me and even went with his wife and found the best deal (which happened to be $50 cheaper than I was quoted), he then put the tire on.
Another neighbor that I have known since he was about 7 (20 years ago) came over and put the serpentine belt back on the van and then jump started it too.

The kids and I could then go to the Dollar Tree for them to be able to shop for each other and a gift to take to their Dad's to give him for Christmas.

After the kids left for the night to their Dad's there was visitors from church at the door with a very large basket filled with all kinds of savory things like summer sausage and martinellis...also an anonymous card from someone that paid on my electric bill and a gift card for groceries .

oh my gosh.... I dont know what to say.

well, it keeps going....I was on Etsy shopping for embroidery floss for my girls creations and heard another knock at the door...by the time I got there and asked who it was they were gone. I imagine they were running through the snow so they could be anonymous....pork sausage from a local sausage place, candelabra chandelier with mulberry scented candles, assorted salt water taffies, candies, money for the kids.....so much to list.

I am truly blessed. I have spent years giving to others before the divorce...now things are tighter but I still give things like soup to the neighbors, skirts to little girls and other things I can sew. Giving comes in so many forms. I am still learning to accept gifts though.... in a way that the giver truly knows how thankful I am without me over-gushing (is that a word? lol) and them feeling uncomfortable.

I am wishing you all a very blessed Christmas that reaches past all of the gifts and settles on the loved ones (and strangers) who cross your path. That you have so many chances to be shown kindness and encouragement and also many chances to give it...even a smile can brighten someones day.

I am taking a short blog break to spend time with my kiddos and soak in this season with them. I will be back after the first of the New Year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you and yours.
Lori xo

Sunday, December 21


We were expecting high winds and heavy snow later in the day on Saturday so earlier in the day Tessa and I took a walk to the grocery store with our sled...to go grocery shopping. :o)

By the time we got home the winds had picked up....boy, did we feel like something braving the weather to bring home the bacon (well, not really; it was more like toilet paper, refried beans & chips and chocolate-you know the necessities)

Hoping you are safe and warm!
Lori xo

Thursday, December 18


Isn't he a doll? Schroder is Aliss's baby. He lives it to it's fullest too. :o)
Tes had an order for a 3 month old kitty collar in purple so Schroder got to be the model for her to list it in her Etsy shop.

Sophie saw one of the paper clock with moveable hands for learning time on and had a brilliant idea to make a clock for her kitty Joseph. A cat with a schedule; oh my.

Bedtime, bath time, eating and sleeping....if only life were that easy eh?
Lori xo

Wednesday, December 17

Where there's a will, there's a way...

On Monday we were able to drive on the roads around here...bunch of snow scaredy cats that we are in this area. We will get out and drive in almost monsoon weather but a bit of slippery stuff and we stay home.

I told the kids that I had thought of a city park that had a slope to it that we could sled on (the kids log rolled down it in the grass this summer). I just took it for granted that there would actually be snow when we got there.

We loaded up the sleds (after duct taping them), hot cocoa and a couple neighbor kids and we were off.
Only thing is when we got there the slope was bare...all the snow was in the play-park area. So we imported it....we all grabbed our sleds and made our own slopes. ha! There was us and another neighbor family and some strangers and we all worked together to be able to play.

Zack did some red-neck snowboarding on the red plastic toboggan....he got pretty good by the end of the day too.
And more hot cocoa all the way around! It was fun!
Lori xo

disclaimer: when you add cinnamon to a pumper thermos the cinnamon sinks into a slippery mass in the bottom--my condolences to the person who gets that in the bottom of their cup. glad it wasn't me...phew

Tuesday, December 16

On Display...

Remember a few posts back when I said that I was excited to have a display at an Art Gallery?...Harbor Art Gallery to be exact....HAG for short. Love that...
Aliss, Tessa and I went to the opening reception there and met a few of the other local artists. I am happy that I put a basket there with a few of Sophie and Hannah's creations. They each sold something that first night. See my display rack? I got it at a local going out of business sale for a whole $15. I am soooo glad that I stopped in and got it. At the time I thought I was crazy but sometimes a little craziness pays off huh?
This last photo is of Tessa at the College Holiday Bazaar. Everyone loved her booth and I loved being able to chat with her and share a burger for the afternoon.
Lori xo

Monday, December 15

Cocoa-y Goodness...

We get snow about twice a year for about...one day. Well, not this time. We have had snow for two whole days! I thought is would be fun to make cocoa for my kids and all of the neighborhood kids too.
canning jars worked great for a big group like that...

it was a hit, and a hit again the second time and third time I have stepped out on the front porch and yelled "H-O-T C-O-C-O-A!" the last two days.secret ingredients::vanilla flavored coffee syrup and cinnamon....sprinkles dont hurt either. :o)

Lori xo

Sunday, December 14

Man of the house...

Zack is now the head decorator of the outside lights at Christmas...great job for a 12 year old, don'tcha think?
Lori xo

Saturday, December 13

Handmade Christmas Tags...

A couple of weeks ago I found myself with a bit of time to wrap presents without little eyes around peeking from other rooms. Hearing the rustling of the paper and thinking of all the excitement that will come on Christmas morning in our livingroom had me lingering on the tags a bit longer. Usually I cut a square out of wrapping paper and fold it in half for the tag. this year was a whole bunch more fun!
Christmas StarChristmas Bell
Christmas Love
Christmas Tree
Christmas Ornament

We got a bit behind on our Advent Chain activities and will be having a baking time here this weekend. Looks like we will be making gingerbread cookies, chocolate dunked and sprinkled pretzel logs and salt dough ornaments.
Should be major chaos and lots of fun!
Lori xo

Wednesday, December 10

Advent Chain:: Re-Cycled Christmas Cards...

Each year we make an Advent Chain; the idea comes from the chains we used to make back in the day at Elementary School. Some habits never die eh?
I don't know the proper date that most people start their Advent Calendars, I am guessing it is December 1st. We usually start around the second week of December because that is when I remember....at least I do remember. That is the upside of things. LOL!

Anyway, I sit down with the kids and we decide the activities we want to do and I write them on a piece of paper and cut it into five pieces for the kids to write different days on the chain pieces. We then staple them together and voila...an Advent Chain. I am thinking voila is becoming a part of my vocabulary lately.
Our first activity was to make Christmas Cards. In the past couple of years we have been re-using some of the fronts of our cards. Sophie and Hannah started out by making a list for people they want to give them to. I love children's writing .First the fronts of the cards were cut off and glued to the front of a folded piece of paper. This year and last we used papers that were printed on for 2005 and covered that up.

Glue and pat generously...Soooo cute!
When we ran out of fronts of Christmas Cards to recycle we switched to something else....thumbprint Christmas Trees.All in all the girls had a lot of fun because we all know anything that can be glued and painted brings out the joy in us all. :o)

I am going to try and post our Advent Chain activities just in case you are looking for some new traditions for your families.
Lori xo

Monday, December 8

Easy Tree Skirt Tutorial...

After years of laying a blanket or quilt just right under my tree I finally did it!...I made my own tree skirt. It was just as easy as I thought it would be because...I cheated.
Yep, I did and you can too. :o)

Here ya go::
1. buy a circle table cloth on sale (on sale is the key thing that makes it so much fun and satisfying)
2. measure half way across the table cloth to the center and cut from one side to the center.
3. cut a small circle (I cut mine about 6 inches across) in the center of the tablecloth at the end of the cut you just made.
4. zig zag along the seam you just cut
5. turn under zigzagged edge up the straight edges toward the center and around the middle circle
6. straight stitch what you just turned under...

Voila! a tree skirt.

~p.s. you could add velcro along the straight seams to keep em closed or ribbon to tie together but we don't see the bottom of the back of the tree here and I don't really care..so I didn't.

I didn't embellish the main part of mine because it is covered with presents BUT at the end of the season I may remember to do a trim around the outside edge with green plaid in a ruffle or something.

I have wanted to make a skirt for some time now and was happy when Grocery Outlet had these table cloths on sale for $4.99 each.
back of bottom of tree = ugly but you can see the hem along the new opening leading to the center circle.... :o)

If you use this tutorial for an Easy Tree Skirt leave a comment with a link. I would LOVE to see it.

Lori xo

Under the tree...

Can you see her? Sophie's little head is peeking out of the "caterpillar" sleeping bag. My kids love to sleep under the tree when it is all lit up.
The story is that during the night Sophie got cold and Hannah had her crawl in with her. What a nice big sister she is....
Lori xo

Sunday, December 7


One of our Christmas traditions started about 7 years ago. We have a snowflake party.
I have all of the kids go upstairs while I get the room ready...fun, fun!
I string white and colored lights all over the ceiling back and forth and every which way...looks like a Paris bistro at night. LOL

After hanging the lights and while the kids are still upstairs I put on some Christmas music.. the one we use most has the friendly beast song on it. I LOVE that song.
Onto the table goes stacks of white paper and scissors...all kinds of scissors.

Into the kitchen now (kids are still upstairs) to make some cups of hot cocoa with mini marshmallows. Onto a pretty tray lined with pretty festive napkins goes all 6 cups of cocoa (one for me too), some of the cookies we have made through the season and other yummies.
I leave the tray in the kitchen and turn off the regular lights in the diningroom and call my babies down into a winter wonderland of a room that is all twinkly with music. Once they get their seats I bring in *the goodie tray*.

After the snowflakes are cut we decorate the same picture window in the living room that we decorate every year. We hardly get snow where we live so this is our snow.
At the end of winter season each year I take one snowflake of each child's and tape a colored paper behind it to show it off and put it in a folder to remember...for me and for them. :o)

We love this tradition so much..and it is something special made out of very meager ingredients...so anyone can do it on any budget. :o)

Saturday, December 6

Tree trimming...

We had a fun time decorating the tree yesterday. The kids were such troopers because I brought the tree home (ever seen a woman shoving a Christmas Tree in her van?) last Monday and we didn't have time to decorate it until this weekend.
When I was a little girl living with my mom I remember us making a Star Tree-topper out of a toilet paper tube, cardboard and tin foil. The children and I prefer to have a copy of that same star...I guess it is just the simplicity of it. Jesus was born in a meager setting and I guess the star reminds me of that in a way apart from the rest of the tree being all sparkly.This past weekend I was also working on this new idea for my shop. I have had some leather that i stashed for quite some time because I just knew there was something specific I wanted to make out of it.
I had a lot of fun sorting through my Candy Colored scraps left over from Giddy Up skirts for the stripes on the cases.
These are in my shop and a new bag that I had cut out a long time ago and stayed up wayyyy too late sewing will be added in the next couple of days. What a treasure to find an already cut out bag. :o)

Tessa, Aliss and I went to the Grand Opening Reception for the Harbor Art Guild tonight. I have already sold some things and even Sophie and Hannah have sold one each of there purses. I am so happy for them.

I will share photos that Tessa took of my display there very soon.
Lori xo

Thursday, December 4

making labels...

I am so glad that I finally went to the stamp shop and ordered a stamp. I have used my stamp so much and it has enhanced my home business so much. I bought a bottle of permanent ink and a stamp pad to go with it as I have to wet the inkpad each session that I stamp.

getting started with some spools of grosgrain ribbon, I had to have a rainbow assortment of colors because of the variety of color in the things I make.

I know that I must have squealed when these were done because all of the kids ended up at the table to see what I was so excited about. I still go over the moon when I see my label on something I made. I took everything out of my totes and *labeled* them.

The Holiday Bazaar didn't go so well in the terms of sales....guess all of us college students are pretty much the same off financially. LOL
It was so nice to introduce Tessa to some of my classmates and show them what I do for a living.
I always like hanging out with my girls at craft fairs.

I will be adding some of the Gadget Cases and Zip Purses to my shop in the next couple of days and some other goodies. Tomorrow I get to go see where my things will be at the Harbor Art Guild and set up my display. How exciting!

Off to decorate the Christmas Tree with the kids. :o)
Lori xo